Robert Story Karem is an American policy advisor and government official who currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Department of Defense.
Karem was a foreign policy legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. He was also an advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney, specifically with respect to Middle East affairs. Karem was a member of Cheney's national security staff from February 2005 to January 2009 and was a researcher for Cheney's memoir.
Beginning in April 2015, Karem was a foreign policy advisor to Jeb Bush during his presidential campaign.
Karem has also spent time at the American Enterprise Institute, a policy think tank.
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
On April 25, 2017, President Trump nominated Karem to become Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Department of Defense. Derek Chollet, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Obama administration, praised Trump's decision in choosing Karem, stating that "[n]ot often [do] I say this, but terrific news from Trump Admin: Robert Karem nomn'd for Asst SecDef ISA . . . He’s smart, savvy, & skilled. Great pick!"
On May 18, 2017, Karem's confirmation hearing took place with the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2017.